Shadow Knows, The

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1994
Original Running Time:
107
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
99
Time Cut:
8
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The Shadow Knows celebrates the gorgeous sets and costumes (using the Shout Factory blu-ray as source) and Jerry Goldsmith's score (adding cues from the Intrada CDs). Ying-Ko's backstory is shown through three dreams, letting the film open in medias res on the bridge. The dreams build up in awfulness: recurring reminders of his ruthless past.
One of the most influential and long-lived pulp characters, The Shadow has been a radio drama host/character, the hero of 325 novels, and has appeared in comics, TV shorts and films since 1930. Building on Walter Gibson's stories from 1939-1940, The Shadow fights his nemesis, Shiwan Khan, who plans to take over the world by holding New York City to ransom with an atom bomb. Using his power "to cloud men’s minds”, the Shadow comes to the city’s rescue with guns blazing.
Intention:
The Shadow is a good movie that could have been a great movie, which would have been the start of a franchise. We could have had more stories of his agents, a guest-appearance by Doc Savage, an origin story showing how the WW1 flier ended up in Asia. Aah, if only!
Some of the movie's flaws are beyond repair, e.g. the lack of more footage of the final "Mirror" battle, but others can be much improved. The over-long introduction can be removed (repurposed in three short flashbacks), the inconsistent humor can be tightened (apparently director Mulcahy had quite different ideas than writer Koepp and producer Bregman, resulting in an inconsistent tone).
This edit is an effort to lift the movie, if not from good to great (I can't shoot new footage with the actors), then from good to better.
Additional Notes:
The Shadow has many similarities with the, nowadays more famous, Batman. Some differences stand out that make The Shadow a more interesting character for me: - His large organization of agents limits his reliance on police information and often gives him an edge over the police. The Shadow is a true vigilante who does not trust the police to get the job done right, as opposed to The Batman who vaccilates between vigilante and police-approved liaison. It's not that I prefer vigilanteism over following the law, I just prefer the logical consistency. If Batman is a police liaison, why not move the batcave into police headquarters and train the police force to work the equipment? Imagine how much more effective they'd be. - The Shadow's catchphrase is not just a marketing slogan, he truly knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men because he WAS such an evil man. His justice is dispassionate because he isn't looking for revenge, he is coldly trying to cleanse New York of the criminals that the police have been unable to stop. The Batman came to crimefighting as an innocent person seeking revenge for his murdered parents. Not objective at all and counter-intuitively MORE questionable whether this person should be a vigilante at all. - Both crime-fighters typically apprehend the villains in their stories, but Batman keeps fighting the same characters over and over again. Is there a catch-and-release program for super-villains in Gotham? What gives?! When The Shadow stops villains, they rarely come back. Even his nemesis, Shiwan Khan, only appeared in four stories at the end of which he died a fiery death. Kudos to Walter Gibson and subsequent writers for coming up with a never-ending line of villains instead of repeating a small cadre of super-villains over and over.
Other Sources:
Intrada's The Shadow double CD for unused Goldsmith cue "The Mirrors (Alternate Version)", and clean versions of Poppy Fields and Chest Pains.
Pulp and comics art for scans in opening titles (thank you W.M Kaluta for introducing me to The Shadow through your work!).
Universal Studios' logo from their 1931 The Shadow short "A Burglar To The Rescue".
Special Thanks:
Bionicbob for making his excellent black-and-white edit The Shadow Strikes and for his feedback on my interpretation.
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
1.78:1 (1080p)
5.1 AC3
English subtitles
alternate posters
Editing Details:
Bionicbob's cutlist for The Shadow Strikes was my starting point.
The goal isn't a shorter story, it's a more consistent story. So I cut as little as possible.
I cut the jokes which I found inconsistent with the main tone of the movie.
The movie opens in New York City because the whole Tibet story took too long and did not hold my attention. 2'40" of the 8'20" opening is re-used as later dreams (out of a total 8 minutes cut, almost 6 of those are from the opening sequence).
Cuts and Additions:
- New opening credits, using images of the Shadow pulp covers and comics and different font (AR Bonnie). Poppy Fields is trimmed at the end to match the duration. It was fun to search through Shadow archives for the most relevant images. I had to discard many more than I ended up using.
- Story opens on the NYC bridge: opening origin is cut here and used later in flash-back dreams. Location title card changed from "New York City, Seven Years Later" to "New York City, 1936" (the year isn't said in the movie, but one scene shows a movie theater marquee advertising "The Invisible Ray" with Karloff and Lugosi).
- On bridge: mute "I hate heavy lifting" (lame).
- On bridge: small trim to Duke's gunfire (too much).
- On bridge: small trim to Shadow shooting at cement block (he looked comically excited: wrong tone).
- In cab: cut Tam's "ask my wife" and Shadow's "NOOO!" response (wrong comedic tone).
- Cut Tam waving goodbye to taxi.
- Insert Dream #1 "I am your teacher" at fireplace.
- In museum: cut "Why have I not heard of him" (made the museum employee appear ignorant).
- In museum: trim the flapping sarcophagus hinges, so the guard holsters his gun once not twice (made him look dumb).
- In museum: cut guard's "We're closed." and "Yes, my khan." Also cut Shiwan's repeat of "join me or die".
- Message in vacuum pipe: trim some piping section (for pacing).
- In Tam's lab: cut Tam's "Hey, that is catchy" to Cranston's "Atomic Bomb" (The term was known: H.G. Wells coined it in his 1914 book "The World Set Free").
- At Cobalt Club: cut commissioner Gordon's sputtering "Oh, waiter" during Margo's plea. The man may be dim but he's not (that) rude.
- At Rheinhardt's lab: cut "I'm not asking you to eat a burger." from the food-choice exchange between the guards (the joke went on too long).
- In Rheinhardt's lab: mute "next time you get to be on top", and trim battle for pacing.
- Outside Rheinhardt's lab building: cut Shrevnitz "I sense someone is coming" (lame joke).
- On street just before Chinatown: extend (muffled) street noises from Chinatown in the preceding shot on the street (smoother transition).
- In Shiwan Khan's restaurant: cut Cranston's "That's the U.S. of A. you're talkin' about" (the Shadow saw so much wrong in society, I don't think he was a poster boy for American Exceptionalism in the 20th century). This, unfortunately, forced me to also cut Khan's eye-rolling "... ruling the world".
- In restaurant: cut "oh that knife" (Khan's speech flows better this way).
- Departing restaurant: cut 1/2 second of Khan going for the window (visual continuity).
- add Dream #2 "battlefield" into "face-off" dream.
- In Cranston's guest-room: cut 1 instance of Cranston saying "last night we agreed" (wrong comedic tone).
- Wide shot of Empire State Building: erase the antenna from the top of the building (time period error: that was only added in 1953), and mute Cranston's pun when sailor jumps off building (wrong kind of funny).
- Inside giant water tank: trim trapped Shadow (for pacing).
- Outside water tank: cut Cranston's smile after Margo says "You called?"
- Place Dream #3 "shoot through him" during fever sleep (replacing the "battlefield" dream which got moved into Dream #2).
- In Hotel Monolith: cut Claymore's "Betcha wish you were nicer to me ...".
- In the hotel: trim Claymore's fight with the Shadow (for pacing).
- Disarming the bomb: cut most of bomb rolling around the hotel (wrong comedic tone: with different music this could be in a Chaplin movie).
- The Lady from Shanghai-inspired mirrors climax. The final battle was shortened because Universal Studios suffered earthquake damage during filming and decided not to rebuild the mirror set. They used only the footage they already had. The result feels truncated. I would have loved to extend the final battle, with a longer build-up of suspense before the mirror-shattering action. Alas, the only thing I can do is to rebalance the build-up a little by shifting some shots so that the bomb story wraps up earlier to create a slightly longer continuous final battle. I mirrored one shot (pun intended) and removed one with poor SFX. No significant changes because there just isn't enough material!
- Aftermath: tiny trim to the Commisioner looking up at the hotel (the actor looked too high up the second time).
- Aftermath: add "Upstate New York" location title card to the mental hospital, as a nod to Doc Savage's "Crime College" (this Easter Egg really jumped out at me, I don't understand how reviewers didn't pick up on it).
- Closing credits: Cut awful green-eyed Shadow drawing. I never liked that image they made for the movie poster. That's not my Shadow! Instead, I added the Shadow's laugh to transition into the credits.
- Closing credits: Replace "Original Sin" with Goldsmith's unused version of "The Mirrors", followed by (slightly trimmed) Frontal Lobotomy.
- Added FE logo.
- Added English subtitles.
- Not added: shot of Shadow on bridge w CGI cape (from Taylor Dayne music video), because picture quality is too low.
- Not added: I tried Winifred Shaw's 1935 rendition of "Lullaby of Broadway" for the second half of the end credits (it's sung and whistled in the movie by both Shiwan Khan and the museum guard) but it wasn't the right fit.
- Not cut: Khan and Cranston talking about the "nice tie". I like the dry wit.
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

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9.8
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9.5(13)
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9.8(13)
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10.0
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10.0
Last year I made an edit of The Shadow in which the main character’s background story isn’t revealed until he meets his nemesis in the Sanctum - as a flashback. When I read about how the background story was incorporated into his dreams in fanedit ‘The Shadow Knows’, I knew I had to see it.

Well, what can I say? Using his dreams to tell his story is a much better idea. Certainly during his second dream where his love interest already is in his former castle - excellent to put the scene there that opened the original movie, it flows seamlessly. Which goes for the whole movie, as mentioned by others here.

Removing some of the quirky humor was also a good idea - and again seamlessly edited. I also agree with shortening the battle with the knive (in what used to be one of the first scenes). Also nice to see custom made main titles, they look great. But maybe they would be even better if the dissolves to black were replaced by simple dissolves. And them being custom made, I expected to see the fan-edit title, but apparently the choice was made to stick with the original title.

So here’s another fan-edit that puts the original to shame. I’ll enjoy it again and again. Well done!

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This is a great edit. It's been a while since I've seen the original, but I didn't particularly notice any cuts. It was just a really enjoyable puply action adventure. This edit really lets the positives of this movie (particularly the production design and lead performances) shine, while minimizing what didn't work (humor, some of the visuals, the extending opening sequence).

This used to be the least of the "pulp heroes" 90's movies (The Phantom and The Rocketeer being the other two major ones) but now it stands right next to those films as a blast of pulpy adventure. I highly recommend checking this out!
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Along with so many pulp legacy characters i think The Shadow didn't had his chance to shine for a wider audience. The original 1994 film was that last chance to something great, and like other examples of fanfix on this page, The Shadow Knows shows the great potential that so many flops already had, but didn't managed to bring it out, it was just waiting for a few changes, some pacing and editiing fixes.

This edit must be the definitive cut of the film. It's a fun pre-noir adventure with violence, edited in a way it doesn't chew everything for the audience, just the necessary, and i think its the most respectful way to do it. As i finished watching i wanted to press replay and i think thats the greatest sign of a job well done!

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9.9
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As someone who grew listening to the radio shows on the KNX Drama Hour, an L.A. news radio station that played old time radio at night, I was super excited about this! I only watched a few of the TV episodes, but certainly watched the 94 film and liked it very much. Though I liked it, it always felt it was missing some of the grit of the old radio/tv versions. As well as a lil too much fluff and not enough left to the imagination.

This fanedit did the trick and is highly recommended for any Shadow fan!

Technically speaking it is very well done and nothing stood out that took me out of the watching experience (which is always my benchmark for me from the technical side). I will say and I get it, it's done 4:3 for the old timey feel, but I would have loved it 16:9. With our monster TVs these days, it's just more enveloping and (IMO) makes a better viewing experience.

Thanks for your hard work and sharing this Lapis!

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Owner's reply February 20, 2022

You grew up with the old radio shows? That is awesome! Thanks for the positive review.
I need to correct one detail: the aspect ratio is 16:9 (a.k.a. 1.78:1) not 4:3.
The Shout Factory blu-ray opens-up the matte from the theatrical release of 1.85:1, so we get a little more information at the top and bottom. See a comparison of blu-ray releases at www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDCompare/shadow.htm and testsbluray.com/2021/10/07/test-blu-ray-the-shadow.

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An excellent bit of restructuring, showing off the magic of what opening in medias res can do for a film. The Alec Baldwin Shadow was never going to be a masterpiece, but Lapis Molari almost gets it there (the bitey knife out of some low-tier Monty Python routine and Penelope Ann Miller are, sadly, insurmountable problems). The film's desire to showcase Shadow's proto-Batman qualities instead of leaning more heavily into his radio presentation as more of a Thin Man/Sherlock Holmes-style detective with a knack for hypnosis doesn't do the character a lot of favours on the silver screen where the Dark Knight will always cut a more impressive visual, but at least Lamont Cranston makes a valiant go of it, and Lapis' edit centers on the best aspects of the movie, namely the cinematography, the genuinely charismatic and charming villain and Peter Boyle's affable cabbie sidekick.

After watching this edit, I wanted to see a 90's-movie pulp hero universe play out with Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy, Billy Zane's Phantom, The Rocketeer... definitely not a feeling I had on my viewing of the original cut. The fact that I wanted more of this movie is a testament to Lapis' skill at re-shaping a movie into something fresh and enticing.

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